Kos - Kálimnos - Leros - Patmos - Arkoi - Leipsoi - Kos
Have you always dreamed about cruising through the Aegean Sea and exploring the Greek Dodecanese Islands? Well dream no more. All you have to do is charter a boat with skipper and/or crew (a sailing boat, catamaran or yacht) and get carried away discovering one of the most beautiful areas of the Mediterranean. If you already know how to sail, then what are you waiting for? A bareboat sailing boat is already anchored in Kos waiting for you to arrive and set sail…
Our itinerary starts in Kos, an island located only 4 km from Bodrum on the coast of Turkey. The island has an airport and can thus be reached by plane. There are various flights a day from Athens and in summer there are also direct flights from other important cities. In summer, some cities have direct flights to Kos. This makes it an ideal starting point to charter a catamaran or any other type of boat. Kos has gorgeous sandy beaches full of vegetation such as Paradise, Ayios Stefanos (in the southeast) and Ai Loani and Tigaki (in the north). If we’re interested in Hellenistic culture and archaeological treasures, we can visit the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, the ancient Agora and gate located in the centre of the capital, Kos, as well as its many Paleochristian and Byzantine churches. We can't leave the island without visiting the thousand-year-old tree that, according to local tradition, Hippocrates himself planted and was the spot where he conducted his classes.
The first stop during our boat trip will be Kalymnos, famous for its sea sponges. Although the island is quite mountainous, it has two fertile valleys where you will find the main towns of the island. The capital, Kalymnos, is also the main port on the island. The oldest town, however, is Horio where you will find a Venetian castle from the Knights of the Order of Saint John. A visit to the Cave of the Seven Nymphs and the Cave of Kefala is also a must. All this sightseeing will most certainly work up an appetite. So now’s a good time to find a restaurant where you can savour some delicious Greek cuisine such as kalamaria (fried calamari), xiphias (grilled swordfish) or saganaki (fried breaded cheese).
Leros is another small island in the Dodecanese Archipelago and is an ideal stopover for sailing boat charters looking for absolute tranquillity. We will most likely have one of its beautiful beaches all to ourselves to enjoy! Leros was a pirate refuge until the Knights of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem and the Byzantines fought over its control in 1319; the former ended up winning control. Today, the majority of its inhabitants live off of sponge fishing. A ferry service connects the island to the rest of Greece. There is also an airport with two daily flights to Athens.
On the next part of our cruise we will discover Patmos by boat. With a surface area of 34.6 km2 and 2,500 inhabitants, it is the smallest inhabited island in the Dodecanese Archipelago. The main towns in Patmos are Skala, which is also its only port, and Patmos Hora on Mount Profitis Ilias where the Monastery of Saint John, an important Christian pilgrimage site, is also located. On the island’s most frequented beaches there are stupendous fishing taverns where you can have lunch or dinner as well as a variety of exclusive and chill cocktail bars.
Have you ever dreamed about witnessing a magnificent sunset over the Aegean Sea with an acropolis as a backdrop? Then this is the island for you. All you have to do is climb the hill behind the main port. On top of the hill you will also find the main town where the majority of the inhabitants live. The rest of the inhabitants live scattered throughout the mountains on the island, in a dry rocky landscape dotted with olive trees, goats and donkeys. Although we have probably already discovered an infinite number of gorgeous beaches while cruising around the Dodecanese Islands in a gulet, we still can’t miss Tiganikia, the most beautiful beach on Arkoi. This small and rocky beach boasts crystalline waters and idyllic views of the islets near the bay. The inhabitants of Lipsi usually come here in summer.
On our way back to Kos, we will discover Leipsoi (also Lipsi). This small group of islets, also located in the northern part of the Dodecanese Archipelago, can be easily explored aboard a catamaran. The main town of Lipsi is picturesque but lacks architectural interest. However, the island has some really beautiful beaches such as Lientou, the most popular thanks to its proximity to the town, and Papandria, located in the south opposite Leros Island which offers views of the typical reed beds in their beautiful natural setting. Other remarkable beaches are Chochlakoura, famous for its pebbles and picturesque caves, and Xirokampos, Monodendri and Kamares, beautiful wild beaches further away from the towns and thus less frequented by visitors.
The seventh day of our itinerary will be the longest so we will have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the comforts of our yacht charter. If we’ve chartered a boat with crew, we can forget about everything and just concentrate on sunbathing and enjoying a good meal on board before we disembark. When your feet are back on land, you will have forgotten the meaning of the word stress. Guaranteed!
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